Dubai Sustainable City is among the new projects conceptualised by the DLD’s real estate investment division. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives/Pankaj Sharma

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has been working on several initiatives over the years to provide a sustainable platform for real estate development. The establishment of the Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Centre is one such initiative that aims to consolidate various real estate-related projects and activities in the emirate.

Property Weekly spoke to Majida Ali Rashid, Assistant Director General of the DLD and head of the centre, about the programmes being undertaken by the department’s new investment arm.

Can you explain how the centre helps to increase transparency and instil confidence in Dubai’s real estate market?

The DLD established the centre with the remit to develop strategies, plans and activities and provide the right recommendations to promote real estate projects. It provides the necessary services for investors during all stages of a project and proposes legislation to improve the investment environment.

The centre adopts contemporary and unique methods to increase the attractiveness of real estate investment in Dubai by formulating and implementing initiatives such as Trabut, a charter investors’ service. This is all part of its commitment to launch initiatives and effective programmes for real estate investors and to offer them better services.

Tayseer was launched in 2010 aiming to help developers obtain finance to complete their projects. How successful has it been and is there a preference for some areas?

This programme takes the real estate sector to new development horizons by regulating and enhancing the relationship between real estate parties and optimising the flow of financial facilities to selected real estate projects based on predetermined standards.

Today, we have 45 approved projects by the Tayseer initiative that have been successfully completed and handed over to end users, including Lake Side Residence, Elite Residence, Princess Tower, Mayfair Tower, Clayton Residence and Ocean Heights.

Investors don’t really have a particular preference, but the most important areas are Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Jumeirah Beach Residences, the area around Burj Khalifa and Business Bay.

Tell us about the banks that have signed up to provide finance under Tayseer.

We signed agreements with eight financial institutions. Three have financed projects and the majority of banks have financed units in the projects.

You launched the Tanmia initiative about a year and a half after Tayseer. Was this because you saw a need to fund projects that are less than 60 per cent complete?

Tanmia aims to revitalise the real estate market by focusing on projects in all categories. It targets the government and private sector to fund these projects. Each programme launched by the DLD has its own features and specific target groups, but in the end all of them complement each other in order to achieve the same vision: to be a global leader in attracting real estate investment.

The DLD audited around 100 projects for Tanmia. How many have qualified and who is funding 
the projects?

Tanmia has 60 projects. We have facilitated 14 projects within the programme, including Wind Tower I and II. The developer is going to get the required permits to begin construction work soon. We have 45 investors in Tanmia. Emaar was given some projects and they are now under study.

Developers and investors can both apply for a development to be approved by Tanmia. How has the response been from them?

Tanmia is one of our premium initiatives, managed by the DLD and also by the centre as its investment arm. The initiative has received great demand from all parties, not only developers and investors (new developers) but also from investors in real estate units.

When will the real estate investor protection law, Tanweer, be published in the Official Gazette?

This law aims to identify frameworks and guidelines on the rights and duties of real estate investors, to ensure transparency and strengthen confidence in the real estate market. It will be launched soon.

The centre has also been supporting Dubai’s green vision. How does it work?

The Takhder Real Estate Sustainability Initiative aims to create a green real estate environment and promote safety and a comfortable life in the society. The DLD launched it during the Arab International Sustainable Real Estate Conference in May last year.

Building green communities reflects the national initiative introduced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai — the Green Economy for Sustainable Development, in the framework of a national strategy to build a greener economy for the UAE in the long run.

Investment will be encouraged in this area and certificates issued in accordance with sustainability criteria. The sustainability standards for buildings developed by the DLD will focus on three dimensions: ecological, social and economic. The implementation of projects will be done through a working group of experts in environment and real estate.

We will shed light on the economic and social benefits of sustainability for developers and provide training and technical support for the implementation of the guidelines, which is currently on a voluntary basis.

The first project under this initiative is already under way — Dubai Sustainable City, which you are building in partnership with Diamond Developers. Are you planning similar partnerships?

Of course, the field is open to all developers who want to apply sustainability standards. We will also have educational and awareness workshops in this area.

The real estate sector offers attractive investment opportunities to meet the growing demand for green buildings that meet environmental standards. This type of construction will prevail in the future.

Tarweej brings together developers through various gatherings. What issues have been raised?

This initiative aims to promote the real estate market and projects in Dubai under the umbrella of the DLD through the establishment of a developers’ assembly. The first meeting was launched in Korea during the third UAE-Korea Economic Partnership Forum, and we are now in the process of finalising the main regulations and governance of the initiative.

The most important issues are ways to promote professionalism and their impact on real estate investors, as well as the role of developers in promoting Dubai’s real estate environment through their participation in international exhibitions. There are also other matters of mutual interest.

The DLD’s Real Estate Investment Map was launched at Cityscape. Tell us about it.

The Tadeem initiative aims to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy using integrated systems that generate investment opportunities through the DLD’s website. It aims to attract businessmen and investors through an investment map that provides all the information they need to make appropriate decisions.

The interactive map has been designed to make it easier for investors to view projects and developments taking place across the emirate.

How does the map work?

This new tool, which utilises the Google platform, incorporates state-of-the-art technology that allows investors to actually see the projects online, thus enhancing our services to customers across the globe. It reflects Dubai’s position as a developed investment environment and one that is forward-thinking in the adoption of modern technologies for economic activities.

The map is linked to the department’s website and works with mobile devices and tablets to provide a three-dimensional display of ongoing and forthcoming real estate projects. It is available at www.dubaireim.gov.ae.

Users can select a particular area to search for the basic features of that locality, such as shopping malls, health and education centres, the airport and metro stations. When accessing a particular project, the map displays its specifications, including its floor area, the number of floors and apartments, the services provided, the number of apartments sold and those available for sale.

The map allows users to search for property available for sale and lease and also displays how many people have viewed the property.

The DLD recently launched eMart, a website that promotes real estate activities in Dubai. Does it replace Simsari?

Simsari is listed under eMart, which is designed specially for real estate professionals to list their properties for sale and rent.

The new system provides the public with a number of e-services, such as the ability to search for properties for sale or rent, communicate with landlords, brokers and management companies, and complete sales transactions online without multiple visits to the DLD.

What are the main advantages of eMart?

EMart acts as a trusted and secure communication channel for everyone. It uses validated information to ensure the integrity of the listed property. It also offers multiple channels to list properties that are for sale and to promote investment opportunities and attract local and foreign investors.